RNLI Lifeguards make Camber Sands a safer place
Most people think of a day out at the beach with friends and family as a lovely escape from city life or the cares of their jobs. The sea looks innocent and sparkling in the sun but it has many other faces. Tranquil waters can turn in an instant and changing tides can often catch people out.
The RNLI lifeguards are there to minimise the stress as they provide a constant watch on the water and the shoreline. They provide advice and help as Sooril, one of the lifeguards, explained: ‘The preventative work that we do is the most important thing for me. It keeps people safe and there are fewer incidents because of it.’
This summer there were many more days of sunshine than usual and the crowds flocked to Camber in their thousands. New recruits were therefore given much more opportunity to use the skills that they had learnt in their training. The RNLI training is comprehensive: it qualifies the lifeguards in lifesaving, casualty care and ensures a high level of fitness. The recruits need to be able to swim 200 metres in under three and a half minutes and run 200 metres on sand in under 40 seconds.
Rye Harbour RNLI Press Officer KT Bruce spent the morning at Camber Sands with the RNLI team of lifeguards and was struck by their dedication to their job and their professionalism. Alex, one of those on duty that day, was asked what qualifications make a good lifeguard. He replied, ‘Holding to RNLI values and being active and fit are expected but what is really important is to be approachable and outgoing.’
This was backed up by Hugh, his colleague, who started as a lifeguard at 16 and worked for the local council. He was shy but the training he received and the life skills he has learnt along the way have made him the confident and gregarious young man he is today.
Alongside the RNLI team of lifeguards there are the Beach Patrols, organised by Rother Council, and their Coastal Officers who co-ordinate the team. The Beach Patrols are quick to spot a child who seems lost and has become separated from his or her family, and at weekends they are supported by paramedics and the Police. Together they all make Camber a safer place to be.
Danny and his partner and children were visiting Camber for a few days and said that they felt safer knowing the lifeguards were there patrolling the area.
The RNLI advises beachgoers to Respect the Water, know the times of the tides and to keep children within sight. Visitors arriving at Camber can approach the Lifeguards or the Beach Patrols and request a wristband on which will be written a contact telephone number making re-uniting families and children much easier and quicker. This summer at the weekends there were typically over 40 children each day who had become separated from their families.
The RNLI lifeguards and all the other agencies work tirelessly to make a day at the beach a happy memory and to prevent tragedies occurring.
RNLI Media contacts
• Kt Bruce, Rye Harbour RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer (07789) 818878 Kt@ktbrucephotography.com
• Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (South East), 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 firstname.lastname@example.org
• For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789
RNLI online: For more information on the RNLI please visit https://www.rnli.org/.
Key facts about the RNLI
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 237 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 180 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.
The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.
Learn more about the RNLI
Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries
Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.
The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland.
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.